Alibaba Cloud opens second data centre in Japan

Chinese cloud vendor launches another data centre that will more than double its current capacity in Japan, where it says there is growing demand for big data analytics with machine learning capabilities.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Alibaba Cloud has opened its second data centre in Japan, doubling its capacity in the country where it is seeing growing demand for big data analytics with machine learning capabilities. The new facility runs on 25G network infrastructure, an upgrade from its original 10G network, and P100 card GPU-based GN5 Instance to process graphics for machine learning. 

Between the two local data centres, Alibaba said its cloud unit will be able to offer more than 50 services, including elastic computing, image search, database, networking, disaster recovery, and storage services. It added that these can cater to key sectors such as e-commerce, games, media, manufacturing, and Internet of Things. 

Alibaba in 2016 inked a deal with Japan's telecom giant Softbank to buy back shares estimated to be worth US$7.9 billion. The two companies also formed a joint venture, SB Cloud, to launch Alibaba Cloud's services and first data centre in Japan. Alibaba said it also worked with local partners, including MITSUI & Co, NEC, and ITOCHU Techno-Solutions, to support its Japanese customers.

The Chinese cloud vendor currently operates a global cloud footprint that spans 56 availability zones across 19 regions, with some availability zones comprising one or more data centres.   

It also launched a second data centre in Indonesia earlier this month, 10 months after opening its first in the ASEAN market. The facility is part of a network of eight international data centre regions in Asia-Pacific that includes Singapore, Australia, and Malaysia.

Alibaba Cloud over the past year has been ramping up its expansion plans in the region, which it had earmarked as a priority growth area. It first launched in China in 2009, before expanding beyond its domestic market in 2015 when it set up its international headquarters in Singapore, and has pledged US$1 billion to grow its data centre footprint in the region. 

For its September 2018 quarterly results, Alibaba's cloud revenue climbed 90 percent year-over-year to US$825 million (5.667 billion yuan). The business, however, registered a loss of US$34 million (232 million yuan), compared to a loss of 162 million yuan in the previous year. 


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